Can I just say, "Yay for more sunshine!!!!"
February, at least in Iowa, has been well worth all the crap we endured in January. Of course, I make that grandiose proclamation knowing full well that these spring-like weather conditions most likely will not usher us into an early summer. I'm in Iowa, after all, and Momma N probably has at least one more "real" winter hurrah that she will dump on us if we pack away our parkas too soon.
We entertained another week of pleasantly warm temps and daily sunshine. I was able to get outside every day (in some capacity), and 'Milly (my treadmill) saw ZERO action.
Monday had me situated at work most of the day, but I met up with my friend, Barb, after getting home. I am certainly enjoying the extended daylight. We ran our 5-mile route and there still was some daylight (though diminishing) when we finished.
|Five miles in the late afternoon/early evening daylight
Tuesday was a dedicated cross-training day. As most people know, I have the Fight for Air Climb (Des Moines venue) happening in April, so I'm doing weekly stair-training. There are many things I love about stair-training, the big one being that it does not take long to get the heart rate going and virtually every muscle from the glutes-down gets some action.
|Back on the stairs on Valentine's Day
I created a new stair workout this week, and added a new move...sideways steps. These incorporate some balance work because it's a natural tendency to lean in the opposite direction (thus, towards the downward direction LOL) as you raise your leg upwards from a sideways stance. I can't do them as fast as the "forward" steps (yet!), but they did add a nice variation to my usual forward steps. This workout was over and done in less than 20 minutes,but it would be easy to do another repeat (or more) if you wanted a longer cardio session.
|Give it a try!
Wednesday is usually an active recovery/rest day for me. No running, and very little anything else. I did get outside for a brisk 20-minute walk through the 'hood and did some planking and push-ups.
Thursday, we had a family dinner with the Pennsylvania daughter (who was back in Iowa this week, doing some work at her company's HQ); my parents and sister also joined the celebration. I met up with Barb around 6:30 for another 5-mile run. Although we had ZERO daylight, the temps were still pleasant and we ran a decent pace.
Friday, nothing to report in terms of running (rest day), but the usual planks, push-ups, and walking happened. Also, I played around with my hair and tried a new variation on the "beachy wave" look. Believe it or not, I created these waves with a straight iron!
Saturday, there was glorious sunshine with a forecasted high of 70-degree temps in the afternoon! We needed to get the daughter to the Des Moines airport (an hour away) by noon, and I didn't know how long we'd stick around the big city...so I did my run in the (somewhat) early morning.
|(sigh) back at the airport....
But about that run. Oh my. Ever heard of the struggle bus? Ever been a passenger? I had a beautiful route, albeit a bit hilly, and near-perfect temps...but my body's mojo was MIA. It was one of those runs where it felt like I was going in extreme slow motion. When my watch beeped at the 5-mile mark (and I still had about a half mile to my house), I threw up the white flag (figuratively) and walked the rest of the way to my driveway. Imagine my surprise when all of my splits were in the 9:39-9:45 range (except for the final mile...10:24), and my net pace was sub-10!
Granted, this run was not meant to be a fast run. It was intended to be a simple run-for-fun outing, but it really proved to be one of those runs we all dread. The legs did not want to move, my breathing felt labored, and I had to fight the constant urge to stop. Finishing with a much faster pace (than what it felt like) was a welcome ego boost.
|Now, that was a tough run....
Sunday was another day of beautiful warm and sunny weather (seriously, I could get used to this!). Barb and I met at our usual spot and did our 5-mile loop, this time in the reverse direction. I left my watch at home, and just ran. This run was totally the yin to the previous day's yang. I even wore the new Brooks Ravenna's for their longest run to date...and everything felt great. It was another reminder that every bad run usually has a great run coming up next.
|#redemptionrun for the win! And check out that sunrise!
This week's mileage (Monday-Sunday) came in at 22 miles (I also headed out for a couple easy miles with the husband later that afternoon!). I feel like my base is back where it needs to be, so the mileage will be gradually increasing as I get ready for Grandma's Marathon (June 17). I have started scribbling out a potential training plan, but it needs a few more details (with the weekly workouts) and the long runs need some fine-tuning.
|yes, it's a very "rough" rough draft at the moment...
In other news:
I am an avid planker (shocker, I know). I do daily 2:30 planks every morning, and additional "short" planks throughout the day and in the evening. I don't do "long" planks very often, but last Sunday evening, I decided to attempt a 5-minute forearm plank. Guess what? All of these "short" planks have done their job! The five minutes went pretty quickly, and were not much of a struggle at all (usually, I'm shaking in that final minute).
|YOU can fo a 5-minute forearm plank, too!
My #Fridayfashion post on my Instagram and my Pinterest was well-received. All of my favorite things...denim jacket, dragonfly brooch, white skinny jeans, a touch of teal, cheetah flats, and the required lipstick and jewelry. And, of course, the warm temps felt great!
|these are a few of my favorite things....
The husband surprised me with a cute candy arrangement for Valentine's Day, only it arrived after I'd left work for the day (and no one called to tell me to come back LOL). The bonus to receiving a "late" gift? It gave me an additional day to celebrate the holiday. I'd call that a win-win.
As mentioned, I'm taking on the stairs again on behalf of the American Lung Association. If you have any interest in donating to the cause, here's the link to my donor page HERE . Thanks!!
Back Outside...it never felt so good!
Red Flannel Run - A Race I LOVE
What's there to rant about???
So, enough about me....tell me about your week! Outside miles? Any sunshine? Seasonal temps? Do you have a marathon (or a big race) happening in 2017?
As usual, I'm linking up with some awesome gals (and their awesome blogs):
Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap link-up
Ilka and Angela for the Sunday Fitness & Food link-up